Market News

 March 15, 2012
Solar-Powered Housing for U.S. Military, from SolarCity & U.S. Bancorp

 SolarStrong is SolarCity's initiative to put affordable solar panels on existing privatized military housing across the U.S. within the next five years.

SolarStrong could have doubled U.S. residential solar power installations with DOE and DOD backing, Andrew reported in September. Soon after that (later that month), it was killed due to a solar-unfriendly Congress. But, near the end of 2011, BoA-Merrill Lynch helped to revive the initiative. Now, it's getting a boost from U.S. Bancorp. Yesterday, SolarCity and U.S. Bancorp announced the creation of a renewable energy tax equity fund to get the first phase of the initiative moving.

Bancorp has actually been teaming up with SolarCity since 2009 to fund solar power projects, so this was a logical extension of that partnership.

"The continued support of U.S. Bancorp means more renewable energy for those defending our nation and job creation for those vets who are transitioning back into U.S. society," said Lyndon Rive, CEO of SolarCity. "U.S. Bancorp's contributions help us make solar power cost less than utility power for military housing communities in multiple states."

Who's going to complain about more jobs, a cleaner environment, and cheaper electricity?

U.S. Bancorp's president, Richard Davis, and vice chairmen, Hartnack and Richard Payne, are all veterans. So, it's no surprise that they want to support U.S. military families and veterans.

It's not clear what the first phase of SolarStrong entails (I'm going to contact SolarCity later today when it's a reasonable hour in the U.S. and try to find out), but as mentioned above, the SolarStrong project as a whole is huge! In the end, the initiative is now projected to create 300 MW of clean solar power, enough power for up to 120,000 privatized military family homes.